The Wal-Mart Decade - AchieveMax® Top Ten Book Review
The Wal-Mart Decade: How a New Generation of Leaders Turned Sam Walton's Legacy into the World's #1 Company was destined for publication. It was simply a matter of when it would be written and by whom. In fact, I'm amazed that it wasn't published long before this. Wal-Mart is so much more than the smiling faces of the senior citizens who greet you with open arms at the front of the store, it's more than the bouncing Smiley Face continually reducing prices in every aisle, and it's certainly much more than a typical discount store chain headquartered in the small Arkansas town of Bentonville. Wal-Mart is the real thing. It's here to stay. It's a world-class company.
There is much to learn from this corporate giant that recently moved into the #1 spot on the Fortune 500 ahead of GM, Exxon Oil, Ford Motor, and GE. Do you think Wal-Mart simply stumbled into that coveted position? Consider this:
- Wal-Mart has revenues of $246 Billion;
- Wal-Mart has 1 million 300 thousand employees;
- Wal-Mart has mastered logistics and the supply chain;
- Wal-Mart shares its strategic vision with each and every employee;
- Wal-Mart leaders never rest on their laurels;
- Wal-Mart continually find ways to reduce costs while improving the shopping experience for its customers;
- Wal-Mart is the first company ever to head both the Fortune 500 list of American companies and that magazine's list of Most Admired Companies; and
- the Wal-Mart management team has devised and then implemented strategies for rapid but prudent growth.
The greatest strength in the Wal-Mart arsenal is the fact that their CULTURE is everything. It's hard to argue with the reality of Wal-Mart's continued performance.
I think it's important to realize that the author of this book isn't a devoted Wal-Mart fan trying to recruit additional followers for the retail giant. Robert Slater was a reporter for Time Magazine for 21 years. He is the best-selling author of Jack Welch and the GE Way and has also written acclaimed books about IBM and Cisco. He probed deeply into the Wal-Mart organization from top to bottom, from Bentonville to China and beyond. This book offers a fresh and fascinating look at this unique company-as it was and as it has become-with an immediacy and insider's feel unrivaled since Sam Walton's own memoir, Made In America.
Sam Walton set the bar high for his future leaders. He created a unique culture based on three basic beliefs:
Respect for the individual;
Service to the customers; and
Striving for excellence.
Walton was also totally committed to what he characterized as his Ten Rules of Business ... each of which is explained in detail in the book. The author allocates three of 14 chapters to "The Founder and His Legacy." He wisely devotes the remainder of his book to explaining how the new management team devised and then implemented strategies for tremendous growth.
There really have been three quite different periods of Wal-Mart's development from a Ben Franklin franchise (opened in Bentonville as the Walton 5 and 10 in March of 1951) to the global retailing giant it is today. The three periods include the Sam Walton Years until his death in 1992, the David Glass Years (1992-2000), and the Lee Scott Years (2000-Present).
For years, many people asked about Wal-Mart the same question that others asked about Southwest Airlines: "What's going to happen after HE leaves?" With all due respect to both Sam Walton and Herb Kelleher, their respective organizations have done just fine. Perhaps that is the ultimate test of leadership: a heritage which endures after the leader is either gone or much less involved. In this exceptionally informative book, Slater explains how and why such a heritage guides and inspires the entire Wal-Mart organization.
More than 100 business book reviews written by Harry K. Jones are available at www.AchieveMax.com/books/index.htm">http://www.AchieveMax.com/books/.
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www.AchieveMax.com/motivational-speaker-harry.htm">Harry K. Jones is a professional speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a firm specializing in custom-designed keynote presentations, seminars, and consulting services. Harry has made presentations ranging from leadership to employee retention and time management to stress management for a number of industries, including education, financial, government, healthcare, hospitality, and manufacturing. He can be reached at 800-886-2MAX or by visiting www.AchieveMax.com">http://www.AchieveMax.com.
John Oliver's parody book about Vice President Mike Pence's family pet has sold out. The "Last Week Tonight" host appeared on "Ellen" on Tuesday to talk about his new children's book, "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents a Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo." The book, which Oliver is using to troll Pence, coincides with the Pence family's release of their own children's book about the family pet rabbit, Marlon Bundo.
The American Library Association is facing significant financial challenges. The Trump administration wants to gut federal support for libraries. And librarians are fighting over whether its next executive director should be required to have a MLS degree...
The National Book Critics Circle announced the winners of its 2017 awards tonight:
Layli Long Soldier, Whereas (Graywolf)
Carina Chocano, You Play The Girl: On Playboy Bunnies, Stepford Wives, Trainwrecks, & Other Mixed Messages (Mariner)
Xiaolu Guo, Nine Continents: A Memoir In and Out of China (Grove)
Caroline Fraser, Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder (Metropolitan Books)
Frances FitzGerald, The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America (Simon & Schuster)
Joan Silber, Improvement (Counterpoint)
The John Leonard Prize:
Carmen Maria Machado, Her Body and Other Parties (Graywolf)
The Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing:
The Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award:
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And while shares of print and e-book readers are similar to those from a survey conducted in 2016, there has been a modest but statistically significant increase in the share of Americans who read audiobooks, from 14% to 18%.
Overall, Americans read an average (mean) of 12 books per year, while the typical (median) American has read four books in the past 12 months. Each of these figures is largely unchanged since 2011, when the Center first began conducting the surveys of Americans' book reading habits.
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